April 2019 Basketball Wiretap

2019 NBA Playoffs Receiving Increase Demand For TV Ad Slots

Apr 18, 2019 1:59 PM

The NBA's television partners, ESPN/ABC and TNT, have received robust demand for their ad inventory for this year's playoffs.

Ad slots have already been between 85 percent and 95 percent sold at a percentage rate increase over last year in the high single digits.

“The NBA playoffs are still a marquee event that attracts a loyal and hard to reach demographic,” says Jeff Gagne, SVP, strategic investment at Havas Media, “and most advertisers won’t shy away because the regular season was down.”

“We’re pacing ahead of last year,” says Jim Minnich, VP, revenue & yield management, Disney Advertising Sales, referring to ESPN and ABC, which are sold jointly under the Disney umbrella. “Games 1, 3 and 4 of the Western Conference finals are already sold out.”

The playoffs allow advertisers to target a younger, more diverse male audience that is difficult to reach on TV this time of the year.

Media buyers say 30-second spots in first-round games average between $50,000 and $60,000 on ESPN and TNT and between $75,000 to $85,000 on ABC.

Movies have typically been big spenders during the NBA playoffs ahead of their summer premieres.

“We try to accommodate the studios as best we can,” Minnich said. “We are open to executing longer form ads and trailers for them.”

ESPN actually ended the regular season with flat viewership vs. last season, averaging 1.6 million viewers per telecast. ABC was down 3% in viewers, averaging 3.7 million, while TNT was down 13% in viewers, averaging 1.5 million.

“Ratings in the regular season mean nothing in the playoffs,” said Zenith’s Neil Vendetti. “Relative to whatever other TV programming is on during the playoffs, the NBA will get the biggest audiences of anything on TV.”

John Consoli/TVNewsCheck.com

Tags: NBA, NBA CBA, NBA Playoffs

NBA, NBPA Holding Discussions On Ending One-And-Done Rule

Apr 10, 2019 3:21 PM

The NBA and NBPA are holding discussions to end the one-and-done rule. The league prefers to have the rule take effect in time for the 2022 NBA Draft.

The NBA's pursuit of NBPA concessions in the areas of mandating that draft prospects furnish teams with medical information and an additional requirement that would center on attendance and participation at the NBA pre-draft combine remain obstacles to a deal.

The NBPA has shown no inclination to surrender on these issues without a giveback elsewhere from the NBA.

The first draft that allows high school players to enter the NBA again will be one of the deepest in recent memory as it will stack the best players from two classes.

As one GM told ESPN, "There was a run on trying to get 2022 picks at the trade deadline."

Adrian Wojarnowski, Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: High School, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA CBA

NBA Projects 19-20 Salary Cap To Be Unchanged, $2M Lower For 20-21

Apr 5, 2019 7:29 PM

The NBA has provided an updated projected salary cap and tax level to all 30 teams.

The estimate remains unchanged for 19-20 at $109 million for the salary cap and $132 million for the luxury tax.

The NBA's projection for 20-21 is $2 million lower at $116 million and $141 million.

Shams Charania/The Athletic